aftermath

the thought floats into my mind, and my throat and chest tighten.  i bite down on my cheeks and try to keep the tears from starting.  then i try to keep them just in the corners of my eyes.  and i try to go on.  try not to break.  i feel so sad, and so angry at losing so much.  i’m overwhelmed with the responsibility of helping out with all the paperwork.  locating, organizing, and dealing with all the grief.  when mom corrected herself today, to speak of him in the past tense, my heart just breaks all over again.  but it all ebbs and flows.

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Dad

7/13/15, 1:10pm edt… he’s gone.

7/13/15, 11:40pm pdt, sea to dtw to bos, 35000 ft

so many memories. of his hands like pappys. dancing on his shoes when i was little. the tight mummy blanket wraps on saturday mornings for my cartoons. the times we’d all laugh so hard we couldnt breathe. bundled up with his winter hat meeting me as i got off the bus ready to help with luggage. all those silly watches, and how happy he was when id get one of them set properly. how thankful he was that i came out for moms cancer stuff, and stayed and cooked. the way he loved walking gbic. the way he’d grumble and swear when she peed on the carpet. i’m glad he got to meet tom, and see me happy finally. i’m glad mom read him all the crazy stories tom would make up about the cats, and i’m glad that he laughed and loved them. i’m glad that he and mom got to go to hawaii together. i’m glad he got into computers because that made my life what it is today. i’m glad i finally made him proud. i wish we had more time, i thought we would have a little more time. it was hard to communicate sometimes… most times really, but i know he loved me. and i hope he knew how much i love him.

so many times ive crisscrossed the country just to come home, but ithink im going to feel lost. shadows and memories around every corner. that split second when you wake up and think everything is normal, as it always has been. then the grief of remembering that nothing will ever be the same again. i dont know how mom will go on. i dont want her alone and so many miles away. i dont want her alone in her pain, but i dont want to forget either.

im numb, in shock, in pain, in regret… helpless. and i just want to step in and fix this, fix it all, and make everyone better. but i cant, no one can.

so many omens? signs? odd coincidences. the other night, i swear i smelled dylans scent. i know mom doesnt believe in an afterlife, but i do. and i hope dad is somewhere, healed of all the shitty things he got dealt in life. i want him well and happy. i want him with gbic, and wali and dylan and jakie and sheba. i want him with the best versions of mammy and pappy, loving and proud and able to express it. i want him watching over mom and me and heather. i want him to go all the places hes never been. i want him to know he’ll be with me always.

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One year

Happy anniversary to me.  A year ago today, I had the hysterectomy that changed my life in so many ways.  I have an appointment with a new oncologist on Wednesday, but I expect that I will still be cancer free.  In the past year I have:

  1. Moved, twice.  Three times if you count the temporary stay with my parents in NH.
  2. Seen and done amazing things that I couldn’t have even dreamt about the year before.
  3. Started my own business.
  4. Put together a beautiful apartment that is entirely my own.  My tastes, no compromises.  And it’s clean and neat.
  5. Regained my sense of who I am.
  6. Regained my positive outlook on life.
  7. Auditioned for Jeopardy.
  8. Got divorced.
  9. Traveled, London twice, Amsterdam, Vancouver, and lots of domestic locales.
  10. Enjoyed the company and support of friends new and old.

I am so incredibly fortunate in life, and every day, I’m thankful I still have the opportunity to live it.


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Time

Yesterday was rough.  I once read that every death is the same… just the first one, felt over and over again.  That’s definitely not the case for me.  Just as people are different, the way each death affects me is different.  We had such a rocky friendship, and I don’t mean that in the petty squabbles kind of way.  You were always kind and generous and attentive about the smallest things.  I was oblivious, but I think some of that came from my own self image.  I couldn’t fathom anyone being interested in me in any other way.  Your emails –the way you spoke really — were so long and involved, as if you knew you wouldn’t have the time to get everything out.  It was overwhelming, and giving into that youthful feeling of limitless time, I’d often put off reading it all until another day.

Reconnecting at the end, it was surprising when you told me you had Asperger’s, and processed things differently.  It was a light bulb, not a big one, just a small piece of understanding.  It gave more context to everything that had come before, from the time we first met, through all of those rough years.  I’m still not sure what you felt for me, or why.  I try to convince myself that it was just friendship — the same attention you extended everyone you came into contact with.   But I know it wasn’t, and the only thing that I can say for sure is that it was a long time ago.

Talking with you was always difficult after that point.  Your generosity, and your care, and your love reminded me what a shitty, shallow human being I am.  There were a lot of reasons I dismissed you, but the one that really sealed things in my mind was simple.  You could never fully understand my passion for music.  You couldn’t experience it.  It’s so shallow, and so unfair.  I’ll always feel guilty for feeling that way.  God knows you tried, and in a different situation, maybe all of those gestures would have changed my mind.

I’ve learned a lot about my faith over the past few years.  I was never quite sure that I had any, but I believe in energy.  Released from that imperfect, failing flesh, I know you’re experiencing all that you never could.  That vibration that fuels passion,  something the mortal body can only handle in small doses, is now yours infinitely.  And I think of you, smiling and shaking your head when you finally get to experience my shitty taste in music.

Good journeys, Dan.  I’ll catch you on the other side.

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In the center of it all

Despite living in the city for 8 or 9 months now, I don’t think I’ve taken advantage of it until tonight.  I was happily dragged out for drinks and dinner, and it has been a long time since I’ve been buzzed like that.  I came home and decided that I should go see a movie, since it’s 2 blocks away.  I got to a 10:20pm showing of Prometheus, and it was quite good. More importantly, I’m glad that I could decide at 9:45 to go see a movie and just pick up and go and have a good time.

Dinner was fantastic.  Great company, and really well done food.  Crab and artichoke dip, Copper River salmon with succotash and risotto croquettes, and a lemon meringue pie for dessert.  I had a cucumber drink with Hendrick’s  (clearly starting Thanksginning early this year!) and it was really good.  Lots of little tiny hearts for gin :)

Tomorrow I must clean the racks and drip tray from the smoker today.  I successfully brined some bone-in chicken breasts, and smoked them today.  They really only take about 2 to 2.5 hours, and they came out beautifully.  General house tidying is also on the agenda.  Off to sleep for me.

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Audacity

Today I turned over the keys to a spotless and sparkling old place.  Although I outgrew the space and the neighborhood, I’ll still fondly remember it as my first home here.  Now I’m adjusting to having a single address again.  In a way, this place doesn’t feel quite like home; it’s far too nice, and way better than pretty much all of my previous residences.  But, it’s also fully and 100% me.  Everything in here is something I purchased, and something I wanted here.  No compromises.  No rolling over to bad taste just to avoid an argument.   Looking at it all together, I do actually have fantastic taste.  It’s a bold color palette but still warm and inviting… which I think also describes me as a person.

Some petty shit came to light last night having to do with the ex-husband.  I won’t bother detailing it, but suffice it to say, he’s certainly found his new level with his new girlfriend.  In the end, it’s all just another example of spin and immaturity.  I have reality on my side, so I can afford to stand silently with that truth while they play their little games.  It’s a bit audacious, but it’s far more pathetic than anything else.

In other news, progress is still being made on the business.  The whole upheaval of last month pushed some of the milestones back a bit, but I still think we’ll meet the goals ultimately.  I have a rather lengthy punchlist to knock off this week, so tomorrow will be spent gathering resources so I can hit the ground running (with my lousy string of business cliches).

I was also talking with a friend today about the transition and the change.  Some people believe there are only two states of being: in a relationship, or looking for a relationship.  These are the kinds of people who aren’t comfortable with themselves, and who must not think they have a lot to offer even themselves.  Coming out of the last relationship has been a monumental struggle.  In a lot of ways, it feels like the battle with anemia.  I was so sick, my hemoglobin so low, that I was on the verge of death.  Recovery was a slow process, but by adding in iron supplements and fixing some other deficiencies in my life, I was able to regain my glow.  Emotionally, the marriage, the relationship, bled me out.  I was as bad off emotionally and spiritually a year and a half ago as I was physically at the low point in the anemia struggle.  I realize that right now, I don’t want to be in a relationship because I shouldn’t be in a relationship.  I haven’t had the chance to fully build ME back up yet.  Once there’s a solid and healthy me, then I can think about finding a guy to be an us with.  In reality, and based on past experience, once I get to that point of a healthy me, then I won’t have to do much active looking.  When I’m whole, people are drawn to me.  The next time around though, I’ll be more careful in my choices, and make sure that the one drawn to my flame, also has a flame of his own burning brightly.

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We’re movin’ on up

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks.. er, I guess it’s only been a week and a half.  Last Wednesday, I flew to Chicago, and on Thursday, the very nice judge granted me a divorce… finally.  The ex and I got along rather well — in the end we had to just cut the lawyers out and do shit up ourselves, but it got done and that’s the important part.  After that, I completely figured out my business plan, and started putting that into action.  Saturday I met with a very talented friend who’s going into this business with me.  I laid out my business plan, explained why I wanted to work with her, and she was actually excited about it and thinks it will work.  YAY!

The first part of the week brought a lot of construction noise and unhappiness on my part.  I decided to escape the house on Thursday and get my nails done; pretty purple sparkles are enough to brighten anyone’s day.  After that I decided to walk over to the apartment building that I’d been stalking for the past 3 months or so, and have a look around.  It was around 4pm, and I toured the apartment with the floor plan I thought I wanted… but it wasn’t the magical one.  The leasing dude said, hey we have another model, let me show you that one.  And boom.  That was it.  Beautiful, walls of glass, lots of light… a great terrace.  He said wait until tonight, another tenant is in a unit with even more terrace, and they’re looking to move elsewhere in the building.   I went home, I compared the floor plans, and the prices, and decided I liked the one I’d seen earlier in the day.  Friday I went back to see it to make sure, and put the deposits down on it.  Monday I sign the final paperwork and get the keys.

Because of scheduling concerns, I figured I can try to get moved in by next Friday.  I found a place that rents plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes, placed an order for those and had them delivered yesterday afternoon.  I’ve been packing since then, and I have to say I think I’m going to meet my target.  Wow.

Once again, what I imagined something would be like — in this case, being done with the divorce — is completely different from the reality of it.  The good news is the reality is pretty rocking :)  I feel excited about life, and powerful, and god… just so fucking alive.

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